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Inflation having an impact on local school supply drives

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Posted at 9:35 PM, Aug 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 12:54:26-04

KEWAUNEE, Wis. (NBC 26) — Believe it or not, school starts in just a few weeks for Green Bay area students.

That means back-to-school shopping is picking up.

But inflation is making it more difficult for families to buy school supplies, and it's also having an impact on back-to-school giveaway programs.

School supply drives like the one Wednesday at Lakehaven Hall in Kewaunee are designed to help lower-income families prepare their kids for class.

"It helps me a lot," 15-year-old Brayden Gille said, who attends Luxemburg-Casco High School. "Helps me a lot every year."

"The kids aren't having to use hand-me-downs or supplies that we're gathering from our old stuff out of the file cabinet," Charles Garrett said, whose kids attend Luxemburg-Casco.

But tack on inflation, and that only exacerbates what these families are going through.

"It really hits home," Garrett said.

Making some families rely more on school supply giveaways.

"I can't really focus on all the stuff I need, because it's so expensive now," Gille said. "Like doing this helps me focus on like what I need."

"It's hard out there right now for people," organizer and Kewaunee County Health Officer Cindy Kinnard said.

Kinnard says that backpacks, notebooks, and folders are among the hot items for school supplies. However, she says there have been less monetary donations this year because of inflation, which means less school supplies coming in.

"You know, we try to serve as many kids as we can," Kinnard said.

However, Kinnard says inflation really has not affected the number of kids who sign up.

She says every year, around 125 families — or 300 kids — register for the program.

"We've seen new families sign up this year," Kinnard said. "But we've also seen families that we've helped in the past leave. So, I mean, it's kind of balancing out on its own I think."

School supplies may be dwindling, but organizers were still able to meet the need.

On Thursday, Aug. 11, the Kaukauna Public Library is holding a school supply drive from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., or until supplies are gone.

For families who elect to go back-to-school shopping at stores instead, Kinnard says in order to save money, they should watch for sales, purchase items on-sale, or use leftover supplies from the previous year.